Nov 27 - Nov 29
The Pine Crest Lower School curriculum incorporates skills such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, technology, and communication. Our Lower School students are exposed to information and activities that stimulate curiosity and excite the imagination while encouraging them to become independent thinkers, intrepid problem solvers, and leaders prepared to meet global challenges of today and the future.
Pine Crest School's pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs focus on providing a well-balanced, developmentally appropriate curriculum that meets the individual needs of each child in literacy, mathematics, science, computer science, social studies, technology, and the arts.
There are two full-time teachers in each pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classroom who provide a nurturing learning environment that fosters each student's love of learning. With encouragement and support from their teachers, students become independent thinkers in a challenging academic setting.
The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten curricular programs are enriched by experiences in technology, library, character development, movement, modern language, art, music, and dramatic play.
Pine Crest's superior pre-kindergarten and kindergarten environment includes:
In grades one, two, and three, each state-of-the-art classroom is nurtured by two full-time teachers who engender a love of learning and thinking in all students. Each fourth and fifth-grade classroom is led by one full-time teacher with three subject-specific teachers rotating throughout the classrooms to support homeroom teachers and students.
Lower School Reading and Writing Workshop is structured to teach reading, writing, and comprehension as an active, student-centered process. Our literacy program is dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of books and reading. Our program is shaped by student-driven interests, projects and presentations that motivate individual learning and the class as a whole. Students develop their skills through rich, literature-based activities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
During word study for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, students are taught proper letter formation through formal handwriting instruction, and to recognize individual sounds and words, letter/sound relationships, and spelling patterns using the Orton-Gillingham approach for instruction.
Word Study in Lower School integrates spelling, phonics, and vocabulary instruction into one comprehensive program with grammar beginning in first grade. This challenging curriculum component teaches students how to look closely at written language to discover the patterns of spelling rules and generalizations while learning the meaning of words. During Word Study, students are taught to recognize individual sounds and words, letter/sound relationships, and spelling patterns.
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students explore computing practices and coding skills using applications such as Kodable and programmable robots, including Dash and Dot, Bee-Bot, and Ozobot. Students learn how to form basic algorithms and engage in collaborative and cooperative learning strategies with their classmates.
The Lower School computer science curriculum focuses on design, engineering, critical thinking, and maker activities. Students explore computing practices and programming through the use of technology tools. All Lower School students practice problem decomposition, functions nested in loops and conditionals, transmission and sorting of data, designing and building a digital environment, and modeling or simulating robotic structure and design.
Math at the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten level is designed to foster problem-solving skills. During Math Workshop, students are engaged in Calendar Math, which introduces them to the concepts of geometry, measurement, time, money, and graphing. These concepts lay a strong foundation for the understanding and development of number sense. This hands-on approach, through the use of manipulatives, helps students understand the concepts of order, numeration, patterning, estimation, and classification.
In the Lower School, we use the problem-solving component of Singapore Math, known as Model Drawing, to support the development of mathematical word problem-solving. The approach teaches students to create pictorial representations of known and unknown numbers and supports the development of pre-algebraic thinking.
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students are encouraged to ask questions, make predictions, and draw conclusions about their surrounding world.
Using hands-on activities, the Lower School science curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply scientific and engineering practices to address our local and global challenges. Later on, through investigative labs, students transition from teacher-directed inquiry to more independent activities, where they plan a test of a hypothesis, make observations, and collect and interpret data.
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students explore topics such as community, citizenship, historical figures, holidays, and various cultures. Students learn about American history, geography, economics, civics, and government with a focus on leadership, tolerance, and respect — all traits of responsible citizens.
The Lower School social studies curriculum focuses on collaboration and cross-curricular integration activities to encourage students to discuss social studies topics. Our interdisciplinary approach provides students with the opportunity to make connections between what they are learning in class and the world around them. Our students are given opportunities to ask and investigate authentic questions about historical and current events so they can become independent thinkers and problem solvers. Students learn about American history, geography, economics, civics, and government with a focus on leadership, tolerance, and respect.
The Lower School introduces students to the Spanish language and the many cultures that use Spanish to communicate. We believe communicating in another language promotes empathy and understanding, and is an important element in the development of Pine Crest students as global citizens. Our curriculum focuses on the Standards for Foreign Language Learning: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities.
The Fine Arts program enriches Pine Crest students' lives by exposing them to a wide range of art forms - dance, music, art, theater, film - beginning as early as pre-kindergarten. See the Fine Arts page for more details.
The Lower School Physical Education program develops students’ locomotor skills by focusing on developmentally appropriate individual and team skills. We implement activities that develop teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills with an emphasis on the ideals of sportsmanship, such as fairness, respect, and the importance of trying to do one’s best.